Anyone have experience traveling in Cambodia with younger children (2 & 7 yr old)? We have three weeks. Looking to make an interesting, not too rushed itinerary.
#1 docgliv has been a member since 24/9/2006. Posts: 8
Welcome to Travelfish!
While I don't have any kids (one on the way though ;-)) here's some pointers that may be of use. I lived in Cambodia for a couple of years and met many people travelling with kids.
In three weeks you could cover a lot of destinations in Cambodia, but just thinking of things kids may be interested in (as I assume the Killing Fields probably isn't high on their list!).
Phnom Penh has a water-park, the river front and park areas. You can also do boat trips and visit a few "beach" strips along the river bank. You can also take a ferry across the river to a fairly undeveloped area where kids could play along the riverfront
Kratie has the dolphins -- you can do a boat trip out into the river and get very close to the dolphins
Aside from its islands and beaches, Sihanoukville has a really interesting snakehouse which is packed with snakes -- not sure if that's interesting or not! There's also big beaches, offshore islands, national parks and waterfalls.
Kep has a small, pretty calm beach, and the island just off the coast (Ko Tonsay), while probably best visited on a day trip due to super-basic accommodation, would be fun, interesting and safe for kids -- there's a long calm beach, your elder one could swim out to see crab traps, and there's also a small village and loads of hammocks, cows and other stuff like that -- rural Cambodia on an island is how I think of it.
Battambang has the bamboo train -- probably won't mean much to the 2 year old, but any 7-year old would think it's the best thing since sliced bread.
Siem Reap, aside from Angkor Wat has a large water park and a themed "Cambodia Land" entertainment park, which while primarily aimed at Khmers would be good for kids in general.
Lastly, Khmers are great with kids, but you'll need to be prepared for them often wanting to touch your kids -- tickle, shake the hand etc... not a big deal at all, but some find it a tad unnerving.
You could cover all the above in three weeks -- I'd look at travelling around be taxi, as assuming there are four of you you could take the entire car -- easier for stopping when you want, toilet breaks, pics, food etc. Most of the taxis are Toyota Camrys. Costs are not over-the top -- Battambang to Phnom Penh around US$30 for the car.
Hope that helps!
Thanks a million! Your advice on this travel board and the Travelfish website are really great resources. I've looked for hours - this is the best site by far for Cambodia. Keep it up and we'll let you and your viewers know how it goes.
My wife is Cambodian, but left at age 11. We are also traveling with her mother, so will have 2 fluent speakers in the group. Should be an interesting return to the country for my wife and a big first for myself and the kids.
We are shooting for mid-range ($40-50 max) hotels with pools (always good for the kids) throughout the trip when possible. Can't afford the ultra-luxury and don't like the 200+ bed hotels in general. In Phnom Pehn, we opted for the first fews to get our bearing at The Billabong. If you have any advice for similar digs elsewhere in the country (Siem Riep, beaches, etc), we'd love to hear your thoughts.
Scott, Risoun, Nakiri and Devi Gallagher
#3 docgliv has been a member since 24/9/2006. Posts: 8
You were right on with a number of your suggestions! The kids especially loved the bamboo train (Nori) and Ko Tonsay.
To anyone else traveling, hotel with a pool is a welcome respite for travel-weary kids! Billabong in Phnom Penh and Beach Hotel in Kep were particularly welcome.
#4 docgliv has been a member since 24/9/2006. Posts: 8